What America Needs

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by Kellen, May 23, 2020.

  1. Kellen

    Kellen G&G Evangelist

    Honor America.

    Memorial Day weekend has arrived. Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, was an organic outgrowth of the Civil War as a springtime honoring of the fallen military dead. Unfortunately, for many if not most Americans today it is merely another work holiday, primarily noted for "Memorial Day Sales." The perverted concept of a "Memorial Day Sale" makes my gut turn....

    The lack of appreciation for, or understanding of, Memorial Day is just one of the reasons I firmly believe America needs a national draft. People in this country need to be much more closely tied to a sense of dedication to our country, and a mandatory draft would serve that purpose. Everybody needs to be subject to a national draft, with only very few exceptions for significant physical or mental disability. That doesn't mean everyone needs to be drafted into the military. That choice should be up to the individual, same as now. I'm okay with service in something akin to the old Civilian Conservation Corps. But service and honor to our country, which is so glaringly lacking right now, may be borne of a mandatory draft requirement for all.

    Honor America.
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  2. ACfixer

    ACfixer Global Warming Enthusiast Forum Contributor

    I don't think that it would hurt one bit to require young men to do a couple years in service... but I never served so I would not be qualified to really vote on the issue.
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  3. Big Dog

    Big Dog Retired IT Dinosaur Wrangler Forum Contributor

    A period of "National Service" would be a good thing. One could spend a couple years working for the National Park Service, at a Veterans Hospital, or other jobs helping the nation. I agree military service isn't for everyone, but everyone of able body and sound mind should spend a little time helping our country. A couple years between high school graduation and starting college would be good.
  4. Cyrano

    Cyrano Resident Curmudgeon Forum Contributor

    New York
    I'm curious, Kellen. Would you consider service in the Merchant Marine as part of your national draft? Mariners "volunteer" every time we sign on Articles to take a ship out and bring her back again, Lord willing and Neptunus Rex is amenable. In my time, I've hauled an awful lot of cargo for the military, including high explosives. We've gone to places the Navy has barely heard of (to my immense surprise, I was once sent a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal for a survey I made of the port of Abidjan, which I did mainly because all of the information on our charts was more than 30 years out of date, going back to before World War II in fact; I have no idea why the Navy sent it to me, though it was nice of them considering I was not permitted to serve), and we've been shot at, and we've had to chase off pirates (a neat trick, considering Congress won't allow our ships and crews to be armed), and these days, shore leave while you're on Articles is near impossible because first, port time is measured in hours, not days; and second, the container and oil ports are located so far away from the bright lights that you lose half your off-duty time just getting to and from the towns. Navy ships spend more time in port than we Merchant Mariners do, and everyone is guaranteed at least one run ashore unless they've screwed up just awfully bad.

    The Merchant Marine serves the interests of the United States in commerce and in support of the armed forces. So tell me: does that qualify as national service by your standards?
  5. neophyte

    neophyte Wonderment :) Forum Contributor


    I have made no secret, either privately or publicly, of any sense of outrage over officially enforced military and war service. I regard it as a duty of conscience to fight against such barbarous enslavement of the individual with every means available.

    Albert Einstein
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  6. mitchr

    mitchr G&G Evangelist

    I agree that mandatory service of some kind could be good, just hesitate that it be military service. I served with very disgruntled draftees & they can do more harm than good. True, many draftees made good soldiers, but they were the ones that would have been good citizens even without the military training/discipline.
  7. Jim Rau

    Jim Rau G&G Evangelist

    The draft did more good than harm.
  8. Jim Bridger

    Jim Bridger G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    The Selective Service is necessary during a major military conflict.
    I was 3 Mos. from earning my BS Degree when I was called to report. I returned and completed my Undergrad. A free Nation must be protected. Many have perished surrendering their lives for others.:usa2:
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  9. Big Dog

    Big Dog Retired IT Dinosaur Wrangler Forum Contributor

    By my time in service, we were all volunteers. But even so, we had a few "bad apples" that just didn't belong. A couple had some serious personal problems, but we pulled together, helped them over the rough patch, and they straightened up. One went on to become a recruiter. A couple wound up in jail.
    Cyrano, I certainly believe the wartime Merchant Marine guys should have received full GI benefits, VA medical, GI Bill, etc.
    Not sure about peacetime, as the companies hiring them are commercial enterprises. I don't favor nationalizing private industry. But it's a real shame the state our maritime industry has been allowed to degrade into. Our sailors deserve better.
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  10. blaster

    blaster G&G Evangelist

    I always thought that Merchant Marine mariners were considered to have served in the military. growing up, a neighbor who was a major influence in my life, was in the Merchant Marine during WWII. he had a medal he called "the ruptured duck" that he was to wear when on shore leave in the States so people wouldn't mistake him from someone who was hiding from military service.
    our Federally Documented fishing vessels were also often called to service as picket boats to listen for U-Boats or what ever other job the Navy demanded. although many volunteered, fishermen and farmers were considered essential and were exempt from service. someone has to feed the troops.
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  11. I agree some kind of service would be a good thing, as long as there are options to choose from. Not everyone is cut out for military service. I know I wasn't, even though I was going to sign on the dotted line (there's a story there I'm not sure I should tell...lol).

    Anywhere there is a chain of command would work. National Park Service, Forestry Service, state parks, working at a VA facility in non medical positions, The Smithsonian or National Zoo (I think they're part of the Park Service), or local fire, police or EMS departments should also be options.
  12. Jaison

    Jaison G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    The fire department/EMS can be where a selfish, self-centered post-adolescent boy starts to become a grown man.

    Personal experience.
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  13. Cyrano

    Cyrano Resident Curmudgeon Forum Contributor

    New York
    The WWII Merchant Mariners were not recognized as military veterans until 40 years after the war ended.

    Originally, they were included in the GI Bill, but FDR had to take them out of it to get it passed at all. He promised the Merchant Marine he would pass a "Merchant Marine GI Bill" to cover them, but died before he could get it through Congress. After that, it fell through the cracks. Either that, or Congress figured we just didn't matter.

    I point out that in order to find a group of similar size to the Merchant Mariners of WWII with a casualty rate as high as theirs, you have to go to the 8th Air Force.

    The WWII Merchant Mariners were not recognized as veterans until AFTER the civilian construction crews who were trapped on Wake and Guam, the civilian females who manned the military switchboards, and the Womens Air Service Pilots. In fact, one point brought up by Senator Barry Goldwater when the Air Force was considering the matter was that if they could declare the WASPS, who never flew outside the continental United States and never got shot at, were veterans they bleeping well had to so recognize the men who were bombed, strafed, shelled, and torpedoed by the enemy!

    By the time the Air Force grudgingly admitted that the World War II Merchant Mariners were in fact veterans and entitled to veterans benefits, the only benefit of interest to most of them was the death benefit. As far as I am concerned, it is a blot on our national escutcheon, and the Navy especially that fought to keep the Mariners from receiving that recognition should be ashamed.

    They at least could shoot back, and their pay continued if their ship was sunk and they were either rescued or taken captive. The Merchant Marine pay stopped the date the ship was sunk. Yes, the pay they got was higher than Navy pay, but the benefits were a lot lower and the respect was lower than that.

    One example from Hollywood, but I had it confirmed by several officers I served with or was taught by. It's from the movie Hollywood Canteen. The doorkeeper at the Canteen allowed in dogfaces, bluejackets, flyboys, jarheads, RAF pilots and aircrew, Free French sailors, Chinese flying cadets, and even Red Navy seamen -- but barred American Merchant Mariners from coming in because they weren't in the armed forces. Nice to be treated like a leper in your own country, isn't it?

    The question I need to ask is, if Big Dog is willing to classify wartime Merchant Mariners as veterans but not those who served in the fleet in peacetime, does the same standard apply to those who served in the armed forces in peacetime who never went to war? To me it seems exactly the same. Unlike the peacetime military, we still have to face the hazards of the sea, which will try to kill you if you do not give them the respect they require. We still are liable to be shot at by rebels in Third World ports. We still have to cope with governments that sometimes regard us as barbarians. And we have to face the fact that the U.S. government may not bother to rescue us if we run afoul of some dictator in a Third World pesthole, or rebels hijacking our ships. So much depends on whether whomever is in the White House has big brass ones, or a yellow streak running down his back. At least in the armed forces, someone will eventually come to the rescue.

    One thing I have noticed is that most who have served in the military regard us Merchant Mariners as veterans, even the ones who sailed in peacetime. It's only the yankee gummint that does not.
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  14. Big Dog

    Big Dog Retired IT Dinosaur Wrangler Forum Contributor

    I don't say the merchant sailors "SHOULD NOT" get the same benefits in peacetime at all. Please, I have enough words in my mouth without more piled in. But I just wonder how to justify it. Afterall, the Congress has to Pass it. How do we present the case for peacetime merchant sailors? As an exNavy sailor myself, I welcome all merchantmen to the fold. Being shot at isn't the only danger we both face.
    But how to get them the benefits without nationalizing the merchant service?
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  15. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper G&G Evangelist

    Hey lest put a stop to all this BOY stuff and add the Women into the equation.
    Also there can be no way of getting out of it by marring whiole in high school or going to college.

    I presonally do not think any one should be drafted for duty in some other country. You see those draft age men and weman fleeing their country only to have American Men sent there to protect that country. I spend my time in SE asia and saw many from that country liveing the easy life.

    That service I feel should be only for those who volinteer for it. Now if some one was invadeing america shores or the canadain or mexcan boarder then fine draft for that.

    so many out door things can be done by draftees like replant trees after a wild fire. Helping people such as we now have in Michigan clean up after the floods. Of course clean up after hurricanes and tornados.

  16. Kellen

    Kellen G&G Evangelist

    Absolutely! Service to the country is service to the country. Our military can't kill the bad guy in Tim-Buk-Nowhere without the materiel necessary to succeed. I don't think anyone questions the critical importance of Merchant Mariners to our nation's ability to reach around the globe, at least no one I know. Service to the country comes in many forms, certainly not just the military. The bottom line is to engage in a service commitment that truly benefits the nation, as opposed to just a faction.
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  17. Kellen

    Kellen G&G Evangelist

    That's interesting. I always thought the ruptured duck was an honorable discharge medal, and given the inability of the Merchant Mariners who served in WWII to get recognized as veterans for something like four decades after the war, I didn't realize they were distributed to actively serving Mariners during the war. Curious history. As an aside, many people think it was limited to WWII and don't realize the ruptured duck is still a valid medal today for anyone honorably discharged.
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  18. I've been thinking about this and I'd like to add a bit of an incentive. If you go on to college and major in the field you served in, you get credits toward your major.

    If you've chosen to serve in the military in some fashion and you stay on, you earn a pay increase.

    Just random thoughts to encourage people to stick with the program they've chosen.
  19. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper G&G Evangelist

    "If you go on to college and major in the field you served in, you get credits toward your major."

    Well that would really go over big. Lets see a 11Brovo would get credit for shooting people I suppose but can't figure out in what casipaty.
    Maybe teaching mass killing so they wouldn't fowl it up.
    Like they have a couple 20 round clips and only manage to hit with a 1/3 of the rounds.

  20. Cyrano

    Cyrano Resident Curmudgeon Forum Contributor

    New York
    We actually had the equivalent of the Ruptured Duck. It is a disc with the Maritime Service federal shield with a fouled anchor on it within a border that says, "United States Merchant Marine" with the cardinal compass points between the words, and on top of the border a stylized eagle. It's the same brushed gold tone as the Ruptured Duck. Don't know if you can make it out from this photo.

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